Adult Programs

Beginning Dragonfly and Damselfly ID (online and in person)

Explore the fascinating world of dragonflies and damselflies in this workshop at The Morton Arboretum.

Content Detail

Explore the fascinating world of dragonflies and damselflies in this workshop with The Morton Arboretum. Join dragonfly monitor Cindy Crosby for an interactive, live Zoom session, followed by a field study on the Schulenberg Prairie. 

Get an introduction to the natural history of the dragonfly, with beautiful images and recommended tools and techniques for identification of species commonly found in northern and central Illinois. Enjoy an overview of the cultural history of the dragonfly—its place in art, literature, music, and even cuisine. Then put your skills to work out on the prairie. Under the guidance of your instructor, you will practice field identification and learn some advanced identification skills. You’ll never see dragonflies in the same way again.

How do I access the online portion of this program?

  • Your link to join the program will be included in the order summary email you receive after registering. Keep this email handy!
  • Click on the link at the scheduled date and time. 


COVID-19 Precautions: Program participants must abide by the Arboretum’s safety guidelines.


  • A portion of this program will take place on Zoom. You will need access to the internet to participate. 
  • Registrants will receive a Zoom link by email. Click on the link to join the program at the scheduled date and time. 
  • The Zoom portion will be recorded and available for 14 days.
  • To ensure you receive the link, please add to your address book. 
  • New to Zoom? Watch this short video to learn how to join a Zoom meeting.
  • The field sessions will take place entirely outdoors. Dress for the weather and wear sturdy shoes. 
  • Limited to 18 participants.

Cindy Crosby, naturalist and author

Cindy Crosby is the author, compiler, or contributor to more than 20 books, including The Tallgrass Prairie: An Introduction, co-author of Tallgrass Conversations: In Search of the Prairie Spirit, and author of Chasing Dragonflies: A Natural and Cultural History (Northwestern University Press, 2020).

She is a prairie steward at the Schulenberg Prairie and Nachusa Grasslands, and she coordinates dragonfly monitoring programs at both sites. She earned a master’s degree in Natural Resources at the University of Wisconsin–Stevens Point. She blogs each week at Tuesdays in the Tallgrass and teaches natural history and trains naturalists in the Chicago region. Find out more at:


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